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290        HISTORY OF WESTERN EDUCATION

a child as in a grown-up man "; and all the studies appropriate
to manhood can be brought within the compass of the child if only
they are properly graded. This unexpected deduction from the
sensationalist conception of mind was subsequently worked out
by him in the elaborate Course of Instruction (1775) which he set
forth in thirteen volumes for the benefit of Louis XV s grandson,
the Prince of Parma, who was his pupil.

Claude Adrien Helvetius (1715-1771), professing much the same
philosophy as Condillac, makes a very different application of it
in regard to education. In his famous book, De I*Esprit (1757),
he attempts to prove that all the faculties of mind have their
origin in the senses, and concludes from this that there is no reason
in the nature of mental organization for all the inequalities which
are so conspicuous among civilized men. This is also the thesis
of his posthumous work On Man, His Intellectual Faculties and
His Education. " The mind," he remarks there, " is only the sum
total of our ideas. Our ideas, says Locke, come to us from the
senses, and from this principle as from mine it may be concluded
that the mind is only an acquisition in us. To regard it as a pure
gift of nature, as the effect of a particular organization, without
being able to name the organ which produces it, is to bring back
the occult qualities to philosophy. It is an unproven assumption.
Experience and history alike show that the mind is independent
of the greater or less fineness of the senses, and that men of
different constitution are capable of having the same passions and
ideas.'* But if men are all alike lacking in endowment at birth,
whence come the differences of later life ? From chance and from
education, answers Helvetius. If two people were brought up
under identical conditions and enjoyed the like education, their
minds would be exactly the same. From this it follows that the
educator can make what he likes of his pupils by controlling the
circumstances of their lives, and giving them the requisite edu-
cation. The reason for all the defects of mankind is to be found
in bad education. Take education out of the hands of the Church,
reform the laws and the constitution of government, and an ex-
cellent system of education might easily be worked out, both on
the physical and the moral side, which would make the very best
of every citizen.

Now it may be an error to say, as Helvetius does, that there are
no essential differences in  the original  endowments of men.